After 4 days of travel this past weekend, I'm struggling to keep up with everything that needs to get done at school right now, so that's my excuse for no new posts. I spent Thursday and Friday morning out in Aspen. I had been invited out there to give a talk on rock glaciers at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, and the audience that came out was great. The center there is a neat place, nestled in the middle of town on some wetlands that somehow survived the mining and development throughout the valley. I can't say I liked the town itself terribly much. I was happy to be on the road out of town on Friday morning.
From there I drove northwest, then east, and then way south to Saguache for a relaxing small-town weekend. Maggie and I did a little hiking and spent some time planning out what she's going to do with her greenhouse. It's impressively large, and it just needs a few roof repairs, some rabbit fencing, and some ventilation for the hot summer temperatures and it'll be set to go. Maggie is very excited and is going to have an enormous veggie haul if everything works out as planned (which is always the case when gardening, right?).
While in Saguache I took the new bike out for a couple 5+ hour rides, exploring some new jeep trails in the Cochetopa Hills. I didn't bring the camera on Saturday, but I rode up a slightly snowy gulch to a low pass just over 9000', descended into Cabin Gulch on the other side, and found my route under 2' of powder. With the sun was about to set, I hiked back up to the pass and just rode out the way I had climbed up. That was the first long descent I took on the new bike, and while it's not as cushy as I'm used to, it sure rolled down with a commanding feel.
On Sunday afternoon I explored a couple trails just a few miles outside of town that went back into some beautiful country.
The big wheels just rolled over all the rocks on this steep climb. This bike climbs like a tank, but in a good way. Even without tubeless tires, the traction is amazing, and I'm just runing Nanoraptors right now.
Saguache is the little tree-filled hollow behind the small hills in the middle ground.
The Poison Day Loop was much snowier than the first gulch. There was a lot of push-ride-push-ride-push-ride going on. Eventually it turned into just pushing for the last couple miles of the climb. And the first half mile of the descent down the other side.
So it was another great weekend. Monday was a rest day, though it involved a few hours of hiking with the field geology course. Yesterday the winds were gusting to >50 mph for the entire day, so I didn't bother venturing out on the bike. That meant today I had to ride before 9am, so I somehow convinced Alex to get up and head up to the OHV park for a little TT on my new course there. The trail was a little snowy, but otherwise in good shape. My legs felt great, and the Salsa just rocked the climb. I was able to ride everything without even struggling except for the one hike-a-bike section. Usually I screw up, lose traction, and have to put a foot down or dismount a few times, but not with the new bike. I clocked 35 min with an average heart rate of 183. That's 2 minutes faster than last time, so it was a good morning. Alex came in a few minutes later and then proceeded to flat on the descent. I pushed the new bike pretty hard on the descent, and except for wanting a little more aggressively-lugged tires, the bike handled everything amazingly well.
That's all for now...time for some sleep. It's been a long day.